4

votes

Science-y people: Help me with a SAD metabolic timeline?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Inspired by reading this article in my newsfeed this morning.

HELP! I seem to have fallen face-first into a bag of McDonalds, and had to eat my way out! I ate a theoretical Quarter Pounder with cheese and I washed it down with a large Coke and a large fries, then went on a rampage and pounded a strawberry milkshake, too.

What is a timeline of physiological events that takes place, from the moment I made the decision to consume the food until it stops having an effect on my body?

This is purely an intellectual exercise to help those of us with little to no nutritional/medical/biochemistry background see what happens when eating the Bad Stuff. I for one would like a more succinct way of explaining to my friends and family why they shouldn't eat Bad Stuff, but also have an intellectual understanding of what happens when I cheat or binge.

What I'm looking for is a list of what happens hormonally and metabolically and even neurologically in our bodies and brains FIRST, then SECOND, then NEXT etc.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

thank you melissa! i dont really seem to grasp the gluten thing. all i really get is "gluten proteins leak through your gut." but i still get confused by it all, and really have no understanding of the specifics.....conceptually it doest make a lot of sense to me.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:40 PM

In the middle of that article was a link for the "top 50 cookie recipes." Classic.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:43 PM

My brain doesn't wrap very well around it all either.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I don't feel any bad affects gastrointestinally from bread or any other types of food. What I get is the water retention which raises my blood pressure.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I don't feel any bad affects from bread or types of food other than the water retention they cause which raises my blood pressure.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:55 PM

thank you kamal! i know this stuff could be done in as much detail as anyone could imagine along a seemingly endless number of pathways. i was also personally interested in what happens neurologically in the hour or so leading up to a binge like this.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:43 PM

My transporters also appear not to give a shit :)

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5 Answers

4
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 16, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I am so, not science-y, but I found this really good link once explaining what gluten is and does to the body, complete with pictures!

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-gluten

Exerpt:

When we swallow a food antigen (like gluten) the body goes to work fighting it. White cells recognize the antigens and destroy them. When the white cells are overwhelmed, inflammation results.

Initially, gluten intolerance can manifest as diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, uncomfortable stools, weight loss and malnutrition. Other inflammatory symptoms can also result. (See below for a list.)

For an intolerant person, regularly consuming gluten will result in long-term damage, including intestinal scarring and nutrient malabsorption.

Chronic inflammation can atrophy and flatten the intestinal lining, which impairs digestion.

Gluten and other inflammatory proteins can weaken the intestinal wall by opening tight junctions (see figure below).

When the intestinal lining is compromised, more food antigens can then cross the barrier and enter the bloodstream. Other pathogens get into general circulation. This causes the body to produce more antibodies, attempting to fight the antigens. It can also mean that depending on the pathogen, the body is more susceptible to harmful micro-organisms and unwanted invaders.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:43 PM

My brain doesn't wrap very well around it all either.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

thank you melissa! i dont really seem to grasp the gluten thing. all i really get is "gluten proteins leak through your gut." but i still get confused by it all, and really have no understanding of the specifics.....conceptually it doest make a lot of sense to me.

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:37 PM

There is an interesting part that is not perfectly understood, and a boring part that is well understood.

The nutrient absorption stuff is boooor-ing. Macronutrients broken apart and absorbed through various transporters. Even the the hormone stuff is only moderately okay-- ghrelin and the like as acute responses to eating, and other hormones that have more of a chronic effect with oversecretion over time.

Here's the part that is interesting to me: the acutely "bad" effects McDonald's are not nearly so universal. Theoretically, the huge bolus of fructose would stay in your gut and cause stomach distress. But in some people (including me), McDonald's doesn't make their stomach queasy at all. They say that over 50 grams or so of fructose overwhelms the GLUT5 transporter, but my transporters don't seem to give a shit.

Some paleos would claim that casomorphins and glutomorphins from cheese and wheat respectively would lead to a craving and sense of well-being. I've been on wide enough variety of opioids to say that this whole thing is being overblown. I'd imagine the opioid activity of a huge McMeal to be magnitudes of order below even the weakest pharmaceutical opioid.

Then there's gluten. I haven't done enough reading on gluten to say what the chronic effects are on people who don't seem feel anything bad (quantitatively, not qualitatively). Peter at hyperlipid had a post about how even a tiny bit of gluten has an effect on intestinal permeability, but I wonder what the "chances" are of a single meal doing anything special there. I myself feel nothing bad when eating loads of bread, and it makes my bowels work smoother (even fiber-free white bread).

Next, there are potential toxins/bacteria/etc. This is an area that could very well lead to some gastrointestinal distress. This would come from water being drawn into the lumen of the colon for whatever reason, and other things that I don't know about.

This is a very good question, and it would be cool to have someone more knowledgable about the intestines and stuff answer the question thoroughly. There's a lot involved. Even before eating, with the smell and anticipation of food getting hormones revvin'. And of course, the effect of hyperpalatable food on brain chemicals. Really cool stuff.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I don't feel any bad affects from bread or types of food other than the water retention they cause which raises my blood pressure.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:43 PM

My transporters also appear not to give a shit :)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:55 PM

thank you kamal! i know this stuff could be done in as much detail as anyone could imagine along a seemingly endless number of pathways. i was also personally interested in what happens neurologically in the hour or so leading up to a binge like this.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I don't feel any bad affects gastrointestinally from bread or any other types of food. What I get is the water retention which raises my blood pressure.

1
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I'm just now getting over a headache from the beer I had with dinner last night. Well, I think it was the beer. It started a few seconds after my first sip.

1
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on June 16, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Gluten exposure can take as much as 12 - 14 days for all of the effects to disperse IIRC

0
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:14 PM

I have no science on it, but after eating a good quantity of bread, it takes about 2 days before the joint aches and water weight to fade back off. I would assume internal damage and/or effects to take a few days longer. Consuming sugar gives me a headache that last a few hours to maybe the rest of the day.

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